SMART Goals By Duncan Haughey, PMP Once you have planned your project, turn your attention to developing several goals that will enable you to be successful. Goals should be SMART - specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based. A goal might be to hold a weekly project meeting with the key members of your team or to organise and run a continuous test programme throughout the project. The acronym SMART has a number of slightly different variations, which can be used to provide a more comprehensive definition for goal setting: S - specific, significant, stretching M - measurable, meaningful, motivational A - agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented T - time-based, timely, tangible, trackable This provides a broader definition that will help you to be successful in both your business and personal life. When you next run a project take a moment to consider whether your goals are SMART goals. To quote renowned American philanthropist Elbert Hubbard: "Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal." SMART Goals Specific Well defined Clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project Measurable Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is Know when it has been achieved Agreed Upon Agreement with all the stakeholders what the goals should be Realistic Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time Time Based Enough time to achieve the goal Not too much time, which can affect project performance © Project Smart 2000-2010. All rights reserved.